Companies in the supplier space simply used to sell either consumables or instruments. A buyer would purchase an instrument from one company, reagents from another, look in the literature for the protocol to do the desired experiment, and then go to another supplier for the equipment for the next step. But suppliers are finding that selling instruments or consumables is not enough to maintain market share or even fulfill growth expectations. Instead, they must become application providers selling complete systems, including instruments, consumables and protocols that are proven and fully integrated under one brand.

The latest company to move in this direction is Tecan Group Ltd., which recently entered